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“The success we experienced in presenting the inaugural festival last year demonstrates that music and film lovers are often one and the same,” said Roger LaMay, WXPN General Manager. “Thanks to our partnership with the Philadelphia Film Society, we will again present a lively and diverse lineup of films complemented by special guests and live music.”
Among this year’s Festival special events are:

  • The Opening Night Party, following the film Good Ol’ Freda, a documentary about the Beatles’ long-time secretary, featuring Philly’s AfroDJiak spinning songs by the Fab Four and adding some flavor, beats and rhymes for partygoers’ grooving pleasure (University of Pennsylvania School of Law, 3501 Sansom St., April 11)
  • An intimate chat following the screening of Pleased To Meet Me with director Archie Borders and the film’s stars John Doe and Loudon Wainwright III, conducted by XPN host David Dye (World Cafe Live, April 12)
  • A live performance by the New York-based music duo Future Folk following a screening of the film about them, The History of Future Folk (World Cafe Live, April 12)
  • A free screening of the Mississippi blues documentary We Juke Up In Here as part of WXPN’s year-long Mississippi Blues Project, followed by a performance by blues musician Rory Block (World Cafe Live, April 13). The Mississippi Blues Project has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project.
  • An audience sing-along to the popular 1978 musical film Grease (World Cafe Live, April 13)
  • The 4-day event will close with Twenty Feet From Stardom, which garnered rave reviews when it opened the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year (Mandell Theatre, April 14)

“We’re again curating some of the most engaging, interesting and broad-ranging music-related films from around the world,” said Andrew J. Greenblatt, PFS Executive Director. “This year’s Festival offers films for everyone, alongside some truly exciting events and performances.”
The Festival is sponsored by the Wyncote Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, UBS Financial Services and Showtime, with Festival events taking place at the Annenberg Center, Mandell Theater and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Starting Monday, March 25, Festival tickets will be available online at and at the Annenberg Center box office (3680 Walnut Street).
Four-day, all-access Festival badges are $100 for WXPN and Philadelphia Film Society members and students (in- person sales only on day of screening, or in advance with valid student ID), and $125 for non-members. Tickets for individual films are $8 for WXPN and Philadelphia Film Society members and students, and $12 for non-members. Event tickets are $14 for members and students and $18 for non-members. Tickets for official Festival parties are $20 for members and students, and $25 for non-members.
This year’s films are:
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (USA, 2012)

Director: Drew DeNicola

Description: Plagued by commercial failure, the career of critically acclaimed Memphis rock group Big Star never really lived up to their name despite being a key influence for groups like R.E.M., The Replacements and The Flaming Lips. This comprehensive documentary uses never-before-seen footage to detail the story of Big Star’s artistic and musical salvation.

David Bromberg: Unsung Treasure (USA, 2012)

Director:  Beth Toni Kruvant

Description:  David Bromberg: Unsung Treasure chronicles the story of David Bromberg, a little-known New York roots musician who collaborated with such legends as Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Jerry Garcia. Relocating to Wilmington, DE and leaving behind his career to become a violinmaker, Bromberg now begins his musical comeback.

Freak Night (USA, 2012)

Description:  A party, a concert, a portrait of fandom and a haunted excursion all rolled into one, this video document of The Flaming Lips’ famed 2012 Halloween show has enough blood, ghouls and goblins to keep you rockin’ all night long. Join us for a special costume/dance party screening of the Delo Creative’s beautiful concert doc.

Good Ol’ Freda (USA, 2013)

Director:  Ryan White

Description:  An intimate look into the life of the woman who spent 11 years working for the Beatles, Good Ol’ Freda is an endearing first person account of the hysteria surrounding the most popular band in music history. Centered around one in-depth interview, the Beatles' former secretary tells all about the spiciest fan mail and the most hilarious interactions with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Grease (USA, 1978)

Director:  Randal Kleiser

Description: Put on your best leather jacket or poodle skirt for an exuberant adventure into the highest-grossing musical of all time! Telling the story of the two star-crossed teenage lovers, good girl Sandy and bad boy Danny, Grease is the unforgettable ‘50s-based classic we can all sing along to.

The History of Future Folk (USA, 2012)

Directors: John Mitchell, Jeremy Kipp Walker

Description: Earthlings - Meet Future Folk, a New York folk band duo whose “out of this world” origin is shared through this thoroughly original musical sci-fi adventure. Winner of the Audience Award at The Philadelphia Film Festival, this special encore screening will include a live performance from the band themselves.

Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (USA, 2012)

Director: Tadashi Makamura

Description: At times hilarious, at times heartfelt, this inspiring documentary tells the story of Jake Shimabukuro, a brilliantly gifted ukulele player out to soothe the world with his beautiful Hawaiian sounds. Follow Shimabukuro as he teaches children and wows audiences, armed only with his tiny, four-stringed instrument.

Kinshasa Kids (Belgium, 2012)

Director:  Marc-Henri Wajnberg

Description:  In this lyrical hybrid of documentary and fiction, filmmaker Marc-Henri Wajnberg utilizes everything from staged scenes to animation to tell the empowering story of a group of Congolese street kids. Cast out of their homes under suspicion of witchcraft, the children decide to fight back against society by forming a band.

Los Wild Ones (USA, 2013)

Director:  Elise Salomon

Description: Chronicling the history of the fiercely independent Wild Ones Records in LA, Elise Salomon’s documentary debut focuses on gritty Irishman Reb Kennedy, who builds a family of young Hispanic musicians to write and perform ‘50s rock n’ roll. Recognizing changes in the industry, Kennedy must figure out how to survive while staying true to his label.

Muscle Shoals (USA, 2012)

Director:  Greg “Freddy” Camalier

Description: Miraculously birthed during a time of intense racial division, the legendary music studio Muscle Shoals brought blacks and whites together to create hits from some of music's greatest artists. Greg “Freddy” Camalier's engrossing documentary shows us how the studio produced the work of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel, among others.

Narco Cultura (USA, 2012)

Director:  Shaul Schwarz

Description: Interweaving four amazing stories, Narco Cultura paints a portrait of the iconicism surrounding contemporary Mexican outlaws known as "Narcos." Building a brand around themselves, many Narcos have lyrical songs called corridos, written for them to detail their exploits. Shaul Schwarz’s Sundance hit is a gripping journey through the explosive collision between drugs, violence and pop culture.

Once in a Lullaby: The P.S. 22 Chorus Story (USA, 2012)

Director:  Jonathan Kalafer

Description:  On the eve of their big appearance in the 2011 Academy Awards, the country's most prestigious and spirited public school chorus faces creative differences, lost voices and homesickness in this adorable documentary that celebrates youth and arts education to the highest degree.

Pleased To Meet Me (USA, 2013)

Director:  Archie Borders

Description: Based on Starlee Kine's "Everybody Speaks Elton John," Pleased to Meet Me stars John Doe and Aimee Mann as an aging punk rocker and his former producer who reunite for a single song.  The pair searches the classifieds and assembles a ragtag group of musicians to write, produce, and record a song in 24 hours.

The Punk Singer (USA, 2013)

Director:  Sini Anderson

Description:  Musician, feminist, provocateur – Kathleen Hanna is one of the revolutionary artists of our time. This eye-opening new documentary tracks the renegade spirit of Hanna, from her roots in Bikini Kill, through her subsequent projects of Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin, all the way up to her mysterious and sudden disappearance from the music scene.

Twenty Feet From Stardom (USA, 2012)

Director: Morgan Neville

Description:   A hit at the opening night of Sundance, this rousing crowd-pleaser shines light on the untold story of back-up singers, the true heroes when creating a full musical sound. Legends from Bruce Springsteen to Bette Midler tout the greatness of these marvelous women in Morgan Neville’s captivating documentary.

Unfinished Song (UK, 2012)

Director:  Paul Andrew Williams

Description:  Shortly after the death of his loving wife, the disgruntled and reserved Arthur joins an unconventional choir for the elderly in an attempt to repair a relationship with his estranged son in this heartwarming drama starring Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave.

We Juke Up In Here (USA, 2012)

Directors:  Jeff Konkel, Roger Stolle

Description:  Honoring the memory of the juke joints of Mississippi, Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle’s toe-tappin’ documentary takes a journey through a time of transition, when many of these famous clubs switched to more economically viable options. After the screening, for one night only, World Cafe Live will transform into a juke joint with special live performances.

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WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the XPN2 Singer-Songwriter Radio stream as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at


The Philadelphia Film Society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization with a mission to utilize film’s unique capacity to engage a broad cross-section of the community, while further providing access to powerful films from around the world in order to increase education and understanding. It does so by annually producing a top-tier film festival featuring the best of American and international cinema, and programming the Roxy theater, thereby providing daily access to films and experiences from which the Philadelphia community can be further engaged and educated, as well as by offering unique and varied screenings and events throughout the year that furthers the awareness of film as an important form of artistic expression and instrument of cultural change. PFS achieves its mission through various year-round film events, including the annual Philadelphia Film Festival, scheduled for October 17-27, 2013. For more information about the Philadelphia Film Festival and the Philadelphia Film Society, please contact the Philadelphia Film Society at 267-239-2941, or visit